Mum told baby was dead, then he started breathing

Baby Luke
Baby Luke

DOCTORS have told how a Wigan baby boy’s traumatic Caesarian birth led to his tragic death three months later.

And an inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court also heard how they mistakenly thought Luke Weaving-Shorrocks had died just moments after he was born and made the revelation to his distraught mum Victoria.

The 33-year-old, of Dunster Close, Platt Bridge, experienced an extremely difficult labour on May 17, 2011 and during the surgical operation, Luke’s head became stuck in her pelvis with doctors struggling to extricate him. He was left with severe brain damage and a fractured skull after being starved of oxygen and showed no signs of life until he was revived 36 minutes later.

Mrs Weaving-Shorrocks told the hearing: “Suddenly there was a sense of panic on people’s faces.

“I couldn’t see the baby and I couldn’t hear any crying.

“That’s when I knew something was wrong.

“Then the doctor said, ‘Unfortunately there was nothing we could do’.”

Dr Jennifer Davies, consultant at Wigan Infirmary, told how she had assisted Dr George Theophilou in assessing Victoria before she gave birth and helped to deliver Luke.

She described the harrowing moments she knew Luke was struggling to survive.

She said: “I knew Luke was floppy and not breathing. I was aware of things going on around me, but I was trying not to think about it so I could concentrate on Victoria.

“She was telling me how awful it was and her parents were waiting to hear and she didn’t know what to tell them.

“I was then asked to see to Luke quickly and he was said not to have survived.

“But then I was told he was making movements and breathing.

“I then told Victoria that Luke showed signs of life but not to get her hopes up as it was not a good situation.”

Dr Davies added that the traumatic birth where the baby could not be lifted from the pelvis “definitely outweighed anything I had come across.”

Mrs Weaving-Shorrocks told the coroner she believed having the emergency C-section earlier could have made a difference.

Despite arriving at the hospital at 1am with husband Richard, the first-time mum had not made any progress with her dilation and her contractions had stopped at 10am, but Dr Davies added this was normal for a woman’s first pregnancy.

Medics told her to keep pushing and the normal time for delivery through this is three hours.

She was then deemed to be high risk and at 3.30pm a decision was made for Mrs Weaving-Shorrocks to go into theatre, where a suction delivery was attempted.

After this failed, Dr Theophilou carried out the C-section an hour later, with Dr Davies assisting.

She added that although there was a problem removing Luke from the pelvis, she was puzzled as to why he suffered a fractured skull.

Dr Theophilou also told the hearing he did not believe carrying out the procedure earlier would have changed the outcome.

Melanie Newbould, pathologist at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, said that Luke died from perinatal asphyxia, resulting from a cardiac arrest and deprivation from oxygen during a traumatic birth.

This resulted in hypoxic ischaemic myelopathy, which led to damage to his heart muscles and lack of blood and oxygen, causing severe brain damage.

She said: “This occurred during the time he was delivered.

“Luke died suddenly and unexpectedly. We know he had various problems at the time of his death and things in early life had led to these problems.

“He was extremely small for his age and was not thriving. His brain was also severely impaired.”

Luke was treated at Salford Royal Hospital for three weeks then returned to Wigan Infirmary for another two weeks before being discharged.

He died at home on August 14.

The inquest, held by coroner Kevin McLaughlin, continues.